Rules of Engagement

So one of the things I’ve been working through during the last couple days is trying to define and clarify the boundaries around when to speak up and when to be silent. Because, however-much I admire the determined stance voiced in Calderon’s and Wise’s “Code of Ethics for Antiracist White Allies“:

[W]e are committed to challenging the individual injustices and institutional inequities that exist as a result of racism, and to speaking out whenever and wherever it exists.

And however seriously I take the responsibility I articulated a couple days ago about speaking up again and again, I still can’t quite see myself as a wherever, whenever kind of testimony giver.

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Lessons Learned

Okay, here’s might be where I flunk out of that Coursera class.

Actually, that’s an overstatement, in my usual hyperbolic fashion. However, I do have a “capstone assignment” due tomorrow evening, in which I’m supposed to craft some creative portfolio that demonstrates everything I’ve learned, both for my own benefit and for the benefit of whatever students follow along after me. It’s the kind of project that would have benefitted from regular effort over a span of time, but my report from last night should indicate why and how that hasn’t been possible.

So, in defiance of all good habits for learning, I’ll be doing this capstone assignment in a hurried rush tonight, and, in the spirit of killing two birds with one stone (and knowing that tomorrow night is for choir and not for Coursera), I’ll be doing my “portfolio reflection” a la blogpost.

Shall we begin?

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Down the Rabbit Hole

I’ve talked now and again about working as non-profit fund-raiser, and how that means every now and again I fall down the rabbit hole of some big proposal cycle.

Well, it happened again. One of those perfect storm combination of factors: an unusually short response window on a federal RFP, bisected by the holiday season, and then with the added factor of one of the main project/proposal team having a medical emergency in her family. It was the kind of thing that was completely unforeseeable, legitimately important, and undeniably the kind of top priority that pulls you off the office map. Absolutely no blame or hard feelings about that.

However, the ripple effect is that the other two members of the main proposal team (including yours truly) had to carry more effort and work longer hours to get us to the finish line.

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Assorted Updates

Yeah, the most boringest of boring titles. Sometimes that’s just how things go…

Lots of different shifts and movements in areas of my life, and instead of trying to do the grand interweaving thing right now, I’m just going to scatter out some news and work on any “deeper understanding” some other night.

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Echoes and Mirrors

Now that the weekend is here, I can catch up on my Blogging 101 assignments. A few of the  assignments I haven’t posted about are “under-the-hood” ones: find new blogs, connect with people in the discussion boards, play around with the visual theme of your blog. I’ve done the first two and at some point I’ll make time to play a bit with the visual design here on JALC. During that Baltic cruise, I actually took a lot of landscape-orientation “texture” photos (things like a lacquered wood floor in The Hermitage, or a ceiling mosaic from the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood) thinking precisely of their use-value for Facebook and blog headers. Now if only I would actually take the time to download those July photos from my camera’s memory card to actually sort through them and start using them…

But one of the assignments was a post topic: the suggestion to

publish a post for your dream reader, and include a new-to-you element in it.

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Pop! Goes the Library

(My usual quick-like-bunny post for Wednesday night apres-rehearsal. Yes, the holiday break is over and choir season has recommenced….)

Anyone who dips into the archives here could pretty easily figure out that, however much I eschew new Year’s Resolutions, I’m all about setting various sorts of goals and structures for myself. From MOOCifying, to Blogging U challenges, to my own self-defined structures (five by five!) — there’s something I enjoy about having these regular sorts of goals and checklists to help me track my efforts and progress in various realms of my life.

So when my friend J. started gathering a group of friends together in Facebook to take on Popsugar’sReading Challenge 2015, you can probably guess what happened next.

I signed on.

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A Hurricane of Textuality

I guess I have some super-secret MezzoSherri playbook, where the private definition of “I’m going to post a couple times a week” means, instead:

I’m going to take two weeks off where I don’t write a damn thing at all.

I guess radio silence is sometimes unavoidable.

In part, this has been the result of living in a fortnight-long perfect storm. The last 16 days have brought me the following waves, in sequential yet overlapping order: deadlines, travel, more deadlines, illness, more travel. (Whee!!!)

Take a system already on the low slope of one’s personal energy curve and put her through that precise sequence of events and you pretty much have a textbook case of “something’s gotta give.”

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